Raining in Paradize

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The paradize where we spent one day

Around 5:30 a.m. we took off from Peter’s house towards the Panamanian Paradise called San Blas by the Spaniard, or Kuna Yala by their righteous indigenous owners. By car we left the city and we got to the protected indigenous territory, with the sun rising on our right side, and the marvelous hills covered by dense tropical forest. Sporadically tucan birds would fly on our side, accompanied by curious monkeys that would get their morning snack from the leafy trees.

How much did it cost?

We paid two dollars to enter the protected territory, and constant calls from our indigenous contact, reminded us that we had to hurry to meet him by the river to take the boat to the  island (Isla Aguja) where we would spend the rest of the day. In a group of about 10 people, we were charged 15 USD each, which added to 5 USD of gas, made a great total of 22 USD (Thanks Rolo!) plus whatever food/snacks we brought (one can also arrange to have some lobster to be freshly caught and cooked -price: very cheap I suppose).

The weather

Sun is shinning...
Sun is shinning…

As of late December in Panama, dry season winds start blowing from the north, so in the Caribbean coast, one may get some sprinkling from the sky. It was overcast for some good portion of the morning, and it even sprinkled a bit. However, as the afternoon progressed, the sun started to shine making the green palm trees, yellowish sand and turquoise water of the Caribbean contrast in an amazing spectacle of colors.

So what did we do in such a small Island for 6 hours?

Nothing. Just chilled, swam some in the ocean, spoke sense and non-sense with friends, had some pipa (green coconut)  juice, laughed, ate, played some Judge-Mafia-Doctor game introduced to us by Galileo. In summary we just had a great time. The time spent at the Island has definitely become a part of my list of happy thoughts.

Sharing a juicy joke
Sharing a juicy joke

At some point in the afternoon while the sun was shinning, I went for some snorkeling with Peter. We saw plenty of corals at the reef and even some scary barracudas that were lurking around us. Their looks said something like “Stay away from my food or I will byte your balls!”. The highlight of the day was definitely swimming in the middle of an enormous school of fish. The fish shone with the sunlight at a certain angle, exuding a bright silver color. They looked a lot like the ones that point Dory and Nemo’s dad towards the East Australian Current in the movie Finding Nemo. It was amazing to see how the whole group of fish reacted as a single organism as I moved my hands or swam around them.

The “not so” difficult road

Serious off roading, Rexton's Suck!- Peter you were the hero of the night!
Towing Galo’s car uphill!

The road from the city towards Darien is quite good. We took a deviation towards the north. Half of the road was in good condition, it had been recently filled with gravel, and about half of it was all not-so-soft mud. Since it had been raining that night, some parts of it were quite difficult. We had no problems on the way over (it only took us about 2-2.5 hours from Panama City to the river were we took the boat to the Island), but on the way back, Galo’s Dad car, a Rexton, could not make it on the way up to LOMA IGUANA. Thankfully, Peter’s dad car -a Nissan PAtrol- was equipped with a hitch, practically towed up the Rexton all the way to the top of the mountain. The reason: the Rexton would not get its 4WD working properly. When we startedto tow up the car, the last rays of light shone on us for a few minutes but the whole adventure took place in the dark.

On the way back we saw some nightly creatures such as wild rabbits and other small mammals (maybe anteaters?), but no monkeys at all =(. The journey closed with a spectacular view of the sky with zero light pollution. Living in the concrete jungle for a couple of years, I had forgotten how many stars the sky actually has.

Pictures of the day



5 thoughts on “Raining in Paradize

    Kim is the shit said:
    2009.01.13 at 16:33

    This blog is awesome and all…with the great detailed narrative of the most wonderful part of my time in Panama. HOWEVER, I kindly request a slideshow function for easy picture viewing…like on facebook?! haha. I want to brag and share with friends all the amazing fotos. There! I commented on the blog, mofo.

    rgittensi said:
    2009.01.13 at 16:34

    Estuvo bueno el recuento Pinky, solo me parece que hay una discrepancia con las matematicas del costo del trip, jeje…

    Mr. Drive responded:
    2009.01.13 at 16:37

    Gracias Señor Candidato de Doctorado!
    I know Kim, we need slideshows in this thing!!!!

    panajane said:
    2009.01.13 at 17:33

    Awesome pics dude! Would be 10x more awesome on facebook!

    Jeremy (aka giggle push reigning champion) said:
    2009.01.13 at 18:32

    Since we are OBLIGED to comment on this blog thing I will have to say that the trip looked amazing, but was lacking in a few key areas… Namely : the low ratio of gringo (even though I hate that word but now in reference to myself and family) to Panamanian is staggering. Also, I noticed there were no minor injuries to anyone, which loosely translates into far too much maturity and so called “proper behavior.” That will have to be remedied before any future expeditions are planned. Also, is seems that nobody got scarily stuck in the mud, in the middle of the night with no cell phone coverage, at the edge of a precipice (that is a must for any complete journey). Lastly, I see absolutely NO evidence of giggle pushing which I find insulting and aggravating ( as if I have left no legacy!!!). Sighhh -> wish we could have been there.

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